Revenue and the Open Source edition
Peter TB Brett
peter.brett at livecode.com
Mon May 2 08:40:05 EDT 2016
I recently posted on the forums in reply to being asked why the PDF
external is initially going to be exclusive to Business edition, and I
thought it would be useful to cross-post it here.
> I am the main advocate for LiveCode Open Source within the LiveCode
> core dev team, and maybe I can address some of these issues.
> The core dev team needs to eat and pay rent, so LiveCode Ltd. has to
> make some money to help support LiveCode development. The vast
> majority of work we do (90%+) goes directly into the Open Source
> edition of LiveCode. To raise money to pay the core dev team's
> salaries, the company sells Indy and Business subscriptions that let
> people make closed-source programs with LiveCode.
> The revenue needs to grow, so that the core dev team can expand, so
> that all the things that people are asking for (like Raspberry Pi
> support, further work on HTML5 deployment, an improved networking
> library, etc.) can be created. This means getting more people to pay
> for subscriptions. However, many users don't think that Indy and
> Business are good value for money because "all" that they get is
> closed-source deployment. To help these users justify upgrading to a
> subscription, the company has bought in some externals from 3rd party
> vendors and bundled them into the Indy and Business editions -- first
> mergExt, and now a PDF external.
> At the moment, I am struggling in internal discussions when I argue
> for bringing neat new features to the Open Source edition. Evidence
> over the last year or so suggests that adding a feature to the
> Business or Indy edition makes a much bigger boost to subscription
> revenue -- revenue which funds improvements and maintenance of all
> editions of LiveCode. Even when you consider the new Business-only
> features like the PDF viewer, these still reflect a minority of the
> work we do; taking these into account still leaves almost all the
> work we do going directly into the Open Source edition of LiveCode.
> In many ways, I feel that at the moment the best way to get the
> resources required for maintaining and improving the Open Source
> edition of LiveCode is actually to add Business-only features. Do you
> have a better idea? For example, some people have suggested keeping
> the source code on GitHub but charging people for access to Community
> builds as a way to get revenue to support the Open Source edition.
> What do you think?
I know there are a lot of people who use the Open Source edition of
LiveCode on this mailing list, and I would appreciate your feedback.
Dr Peter Brett <peter.brett at livecode.com>
LiveCode Open Source Team
LiveCode 2016 Conference: https://livecode.com/edinburgh-2016/
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